Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Pictures from Edinburgh

Here are a few pictures taken while wandering the city for the day.

One of the shops we checked out was a big hat store (big store, not big hats -- at least not exclusively) where we enjoyed recreating a wacky montage from a bad comedy where we try on lots of crazy hats and make crazy faces because all we need is each other to have a laugh, and also because we haven't learned the hard way that life is a cruel and savage mistress.

These bright red phone booths, or "phone boxes," are among the major visual signifiers I've always associated with the cartoon version of Britain in my head, like double decker buses and everyone drinking tea all the time. But these things are real!

Here are a few pictures of Edinburgh Castle. It was gorgeous -- I dream of the day I can afford to take the tour of the inside.

Becca made a special friend on the Royal Mile.

These are the two flags of Scotland whose origins the shop owner so kindly and theatrically explained to me. Here's what I remember: when Queen Elizabeth of England died in 1603 without an heir, King James VI of Scotland, her closest living relative, took over the English throne. So the two countries were joined together and Great Britain was created. So Scotland has two flags, one for Scotland as the nation it was before the Union of the Crowns (the blue and white saltire cross of St. Andrew), and one for Scotland as a member of Great Britain (the Rampant Lion). Then, of course, there's the Union Jack most of us have seen, which is the flag for the UK as a whole. (Sorry if I've gotten any of this wrong! I'm just trying to remember what the guy told me...)

Here is Laura spitting on this heart-shaped design outside St. Giles' Cathedral. The girls were saying how everyone who walks by it is supposed to spit on it for good luck or something, so we all stood around spitting on it, which was kind of odd. Then I looked it up on the internet and read the following:

The heart-shaped design of the cobble stones near St. Giles' Cathedral marks where the entrance to the Tolbooth used to be located. The Tolbooth was originally set up in 1561, as the name implies, to collect tolls but also became used as a prison after 1640. There was also a scaffold for hanging criminals (and others) and the heads of the more famous victims would be displayed on spikes in the face of the building. The Tolbooth was demolished in 1817. Perhaps as a sign of disrespect to the town council, it became common for passsers-by to spit on the cobble stone design. While this is not encouraged these days, it is wise to give the emblem a wide berth when walking past - just in case!

This is the sign for the ghost tour we went on. There were lots of different ghost tours to choose from, so I guess Edinburgh is a pretty haunted city.

UNRELATED LINK: Eva pointed me in the direction of this article which may have had something to do with the stupid bitch who randomly punched me in the face a few months ago. I get even madder than I already do thinking back on it and imagining someone playing a video of what happened and laughing over it. ARRRRGH.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?